What would it be like to be homeless? Have you ever thought about that? I sure have and it is my hope that I can help you rethink how you see homelessness. So, while you’re reading this today I would encourage you to take a moment to stop and think about this reality.
The reality is that most of us are just a paycheck away from experiencing the challenges that our guest faces each and every day. Many questions come to mind when the community talks about homelessness. For example, what do we do about homelessness as a society? Do we open a shelter? Do we have an answer to homelessness? Often with shelters if you are not in line by 1:00 - 2:00 pm you won’t have a spot that night in the shelter. So, how does this really help a person who has or wants to work in order to move forward? How about this question that often gets brought up during discussions about the homeless? Do we open a soup kitchen? How do these services really help a homeless person move forward? Sure, it gives them shelter for the night and a little food in their bellies.
In these cases, are we really giving them back their dignity? What has always been so important to me in any work I’ve done is helping people move forward, whatever that looks like. Coaching people is my passion - “Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.” Did you think that was from the Bible? I did at one time. It’s not, this is a well-quoted verse that comes directly from the Common Growth by, M. Loane Published in 1911. If we are not willing to help our homeless people start their lives over at a basic level, we are not helping them.
We cannot just give them tools and not teach them how to use them. Would I hand an infant a drill? Or hand a teenager keys to a car without any driving instruction? Never! So, with this being said, I invite you to come visit with me and take a tour of Matthew’s Hope Ministries, you’ll hear us say, putting me in a garage does not make me a car. I’m still a human, not a car. So putting a homeless person in a house does not make them any less homeless. Until they are retaught the tools to succeed, how can really we expect them to? We pride ourselves here at Matthew’s Hope for our Moving Forward program. This is one of the many things Matthews Hope offers to those in need in our community.
We look at each individual person and not just the label “homeless”. We guide them and help them restore themselves from the mistakes of their past. Then after that journey, we can walk alongside them as they move forward towards a life of independence and self-sustainability. We equip them with building blocks to give them a firm foundation and to help them be successful citizens who will want to give back to our society. As you can see, this has never been just a job for me, these are my people.
The people I get to get up for every day and help even in the littlest of ways. Because I see them for who they are - I see mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. So, with this being said, I invite you to come to visit with me and take a tour of Matthew’s Hope Ministries. Hopefully, you’ll be able to open your heart to see them the way I do - they are people, my people.